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Pakistan Arrests 70 Over Sectarian Attacks


A Pakistani police officer tires set alight by protesters to condemn the killings of Shiite Muslims in Quetta, Pakistan, October 4, 2011.

A Pakistani police officer tires set alight by protesters to condemn the killings of Shiite Muslims in Quetta, Pakistan, October 4, 2011.

Police in Pakistan have detained more than 70 people in connection with a recent spate of sectarian violence in southwestern Baluchistan province.

Officials say the arrests were made during a series of raids early Wednesday morning, across the regional capital, Quetta, where Shi'ite Muslims have recently come under increased attacks.

On Tuesday, gunmen attacked a bus carrying Shi'ite Muslims, mostly from the ethnic Hazara community, killing at least 13 people.

Weeks earlier, gunmen attacked a bus bound for Iran, killing 26 Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims also near Quetta. The Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi said it carried out that ambush.

Pakistan has a Sunni Muslim majority, and although most Sunnis and Shi'ites coexist peacefully, extremists often target members of each community.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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